ALTON - In celebration of Pride Month, the design committee of Alton Main Street and the board of Alton Pride joined forces to create a temporary pop-up art installation in front of Alton City Hall. Staff and visitors were surprised Wednesday morning by a festive “flock” of bright pink flamingos and vibrant rainbow steps.

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Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street, explained, “Our committee has been working on gathering information on all of the public art downtown and developing a walking tour. We were reminiscing about past art projects and brainstorming new ideas when someone suggested how cool it would be to create a pop-up surprise for Pride. We are a very small committee, so we knew we would need help.”

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The idea to collaborate was pitched to the board members of Alton Pride, who enthusiastically agreed. A quick plan was hatched! Alton Main Street committee members would bring professional-grade chalk to decorate the steps leading up to City Hall, and Alton Pride would arrange for a flock of 85 flamingos from their annual fundraiser to roost in the green space surrounding the main entrance. Members from each group met late Tuesday evening to bring their concept to life.

The pop-up art installation is a fantastic example of two groups banding together for a common cause and will remain at 101 E. 3rd Street in downtown Alton through Sunday, June 16. Stop by for colorful and fanciful selfie photos, and when you post on social media be sure to tag @altonprideinc, and @AltonMainStreet

Funds raised by the Flocking for PRIDE fundraiser benefit Alton Pride’s Scholarship fund. The group awarded $2,250 in scholarships to three students last month. The annual fundraiser is quite clever. With four price levels and several add-ons, donors can arrange for a “flock” of flamingos to show up on a friend or neighbor’s lawn. Dawn Strickland, the coordinator of this year’s fundraiser, says reservations are still available. Contact her at info@altonpride.com or check their Facebook page to schedule your flock. And save the date for this year’s Alton Pride Festival, “Connecting Communities,” on Saturday, September 14. Find vendor and Sponsorship info at www.altonpride.com.

Alton Main Street’s design committee is busy planning for the installation of a new permanent mural downtown in honor of Miles Davis's 100th birthday celebration next year. Follow the group on Facebook for the latest news and events, or sign up for their weekly newsletter at www.downtownalton.com

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